About Us

Founders Amanda and Richard Haddock’s Story as Parents to a Dragon Master

How Our Dragon Master (A.K.A. Cancer Warrior) Ignited This Initiative

When it comes to a patient and their family’s journey with cancer, time is a precious, fleeting resource. This was what we faced when our son, David, was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme in September 2010.

David was just 16 years old when he was diagnosed with cancer. He was funny, quirky, intelligent, kind, and adored by all who encountered him throughout his life. David dreamed of becoming a chef, the kind of person that brings people together to share each other’s company. He not only had the honor of meeting internationally renowned Chef Gordon Ramsay but also the privilege of calling Spanish Chef, José Andrés, his friend.

After four hospitals, a clinical trial, and countless prayers, we couldn’t save David. He passed away after a 20-month battle. As our family navigated through this journey with numerous doctors and countless questions, we discovered a severe frustration in the cancer research community- a lack of resources to share medical research data between doctors and researchers.

Clinical trial results take time, but time is limited in moments like these. Hoping to turn the loss of David into his legacy, we set forth to bridge the gap between isolated medical processes and real-time clinical research data. From this, the Dragon Master Initiative was born- a platform that would help solve the riddle of cancer through streamlined data sharing between researchers and institutions.

The Dragon Master Initiative seeks to expand CAVATICA, a free research tool that enables doctors and scientists to instantly share, search and analyze patient data. Expanding this tool will allow researchers to use big data to identify patterns and further their research to uncover cures for cancer more quickly.

Through CAVATICA, real-time feedback is shared, allowing researchers to modify the trials as we move forward instead of waiting for the results. Our platform provides researchers with the ability to find out what works and fails, faster. Our initiative also connects patients and their families with the resources they need to help them get through the journey with as much support as possible. Get familiar with CAVATICA and our plan of action for its usage here. Learn more about our resources for patients here.

Meet Our Executive Board

Through their unique strengths and backgrounds, our Executive Board pushes the Dragon Master Initiative toward our goal of getting closer to a cure for cancer.

Amanda Haddock


David Herrmann

VP & Treasurer

Roger Kasten

Board Chair

Richard Haddock

Board Member

Derek Sorrells

Board Member

Peter White

Board Member

Meet Our Childhood Cancer Advisory Board

Through their unique strengths and backgrounds, our Childhood Cancer Advisory Board pushes the Dragon Master Initiative toward our goal of getting closer to a cure for cancer.

Katherine E. Warren


Adam Resnick


Javad Nazarian


Sabine Mueller


Sarah Leary


Eugene Hwang



Where did the name “Dragon Master” come from?

When it became obvious that we would need our own nonprofit to have the greatest impact, we started brainstorming names. We new the initiative would be larger that the other efforts we had encountered, and they already had some pretty impressive, global sounding names. We also had the idea that the kind of data we wanted to collect could go beyond typical research paradigms, and might initially be kind of hard to define. So we started thinking about terms that were more symbolic than literal. Cancer is often referred to as a beast, and our David had always loved dragons, so using a dragon as part of the imagery felt like a good fit. However, David loved dragons, so we wanted to have a name that would honor that love. We also thought that control of disease is the first step toward curing, so the term “master” seemed like a natural way to express that control.

The CAVATICA platform is a free, open-access research tool that enables doctors, scientists, and researchers to easily share, search, and analyze large collections of patient data. Join the Children's Brain Tumor Network (CBTN), the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and a network of other hospitals and research institutions that have committed to coming together to revolutionize cancer research. We empower you to share your medical research data with fellow researchers and medical professionals to allow you to modify your trials in real time. Will you join our movement to revolutionize cancer research? Reach out to Amanda Haddock to get started.

Medical professionals and researchers are forced to follow. By providing a free, open-access research tool that doctors and scientists can utilize simultaneously, time is cut dramatically in these processes. Widespread use of a platform like CAVATICA means that doctors will have access to more recent updates and information from the latest studies about pediatric brain cancer (and potentially many other cancer types.)

There are many ways to support the Dragon Master Initiative as an individual! Learn more about the ways you can get involved here and find out how you can contribute monetarily here.
How can I take advantage of the Dragon Master Initiative’s efforts as a medical professional?
You can see the current pediatric brain tumor data here. If you are looking for clinical data, you can access the dataMedical research and treatment discovery can take years due to the current inefficient processes that me through pedCBioPortal.
If you are looking for biospecimens, you can apply for access to those here. We are always seeking researchers to share their medical data through the CAVATICA platform. Through this platform, we empower you to share your medical research data with fellow researchers and medical professionals to allow you to modify your trials in real time. If you need help learning how to utilize your tools on this platform, please email Amanda Haddock. If you are looking for data on children with structural birth defects, you can access that data here.

We offer ways to partner with the Dragon Master Initiative on a corporate level through events and donations. Learn more here.

The Dragon Master Initiative is proud to serve cancer patients and their families by providing financial assistance, information, and resources, as well as connecting with you. No matter where you are in your diagnosis or treatment process, we want to walk through this journey with you. Click here to learn more about the programs we provide, as well as other resources to help give you confidence in your treatment decisions. Questions? Reach out to us at info@dragonmaster.org or through our Facebook page.